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Re: Can anyone post their experience with 3 inch / 76mm diameter columns

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  • mavnkaf
    Thanks guys for replying, I think mtnwalker2 has nailed it on the head for what I m after, a quicker runing process and a high % and clean vodka type product.
    Message 1 of 21 , Dec 3, 2006
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      Thanks guys for replying,

      I think mtnwalker2 has nailed it on the head for what I'm after, a
      quicker runing process and a high % and clean vodka type product.

      At the moment I'm using a 25 litter hot water coffee urn as the
      boiler and using it's 2400 watt element on start up then swicthing
      to a 1100 watt for the main run which work ok but is a little too
      fast (vapour speed wise), for my 2.5 meter x 50 mm mini still. It
      still makes good 95% gear but it takes a good ten hours to get
      through a 20L of prestriped 40% sugar wash.

      Ten hours maybe ok for some, but if I can do it in a shorter time
      and still have a good clean product, by increasing the diameter of
      the column, with out it costing too much, I would like to try it.
      Getting a 76 mm stainless pipe is not a problem, welding is not too
      much of a issue either. Working out what column type and condenser
      that lends it self to 3" pipe will be interesting. I like the ARC
      idear but the mini still setup is very simple to make and easy to
      use.

      One of reseasons I'm curious about 3" columns is, say if I wanted to
      make my mini still more efficient I would have to buy a sutronics
      burst fire unit and make the controller, the costs might be around
      $70-$100 AUD all together. It has been pointed out to me that 2000
      watt element in a 3" column is like having a 750 watt element for a
      2" column. Sooo why don't I just put my very little money towards
      making a new boiler,element, column and the rest it??

      I'm not going make it this week or next week but maybe in the next
      six months, if I want to make it cheaply, it will take time, which
      is ok with me as I still have my mini still to play with. BTW good
      reminder about the insulation.

      Cheers
      Marc


      > >
      > >
      > > Hi Marc,
      >
      > Sorry, I have been away from pc for months. I run a 3" by 48" SS
      > column, with a 2 by 3 triclamp adopter for a beer keg, and use
      > propane. It has 3 cooling tubes through the top and copper
      packing. I
      > breaks into 2' sections. I strip 2 50 liter runs which takes 4 to
      4.5
      > hours each turn on to turn off heat and avg. 62% and about almost
      4.5
      > gal. per run. I store on bakeing soda until ready to combine the 2
      > for a full reflux run in which I also add more soda and some
      canning
      > salt....It is very fast, 95%, and very pure- better than high
      priced
      > store bought, and that without carbon filtering- though I have one.
      >
      > From some 2 years of reading and studying and listening, I
      couldn't
      > be happier with any other. My first and most important lesson was
      > extemly good insulation- I use 3.5" fiberglass. It does take a lot
      of
      > very cold cooling water, but I have a gravity fed spring.
      >
      > I find it saves so much time over my sisters 2" by 3' column and
      with
      > as good or better results IMOP that I can concentrate my time on
      > flavoring, oaking, and ageing. With just a few runs like this, I
      and
      > my family are set for a long time. At least so I first thought, as
      > they have all found it makes cheap and very appreceated presents,
      and
      > they seem to be entertaining a bit more now.
      >
      > Cheers
      >
    • surya9375
      Hi I dont have a 3 still but for high purity I dont think anything should be much different. Hey guys if I say anything wrong here. Please feel free to
      Message 2 of 21 , Dec 4, 2006
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        Hi
        I dont have a 3" still but for high purity I dont think anything
        should be much different.

        Hey guys if I say anything wrong here. Please feel free to comment
        and correct me.

        However the differences would be (according to me):-

        1, Insulate the column properly. Even the 2" columns need this but if
        its not done I guess the effect would be more seen in a 3" column.

        2, Almost all docs state that in wider columns (like the 3" ) you
        should not use copper scrubbers and go for marbles and the likes. but
        I think the option of copper mesh did not cross them at the time. And
        I think that a copper mesh rolled with the right diameter should be
        the best.
        I think they were against copper scrubbers cause scrubbers had a
        particular diameter and if its smaller than the column diameter then
        they wouldnt stack properly and would leave empty spaces as well,
        leading to channeling. I guess you could buy 2, 1pound copper mesh's
        from Amphoria and take the second one and roll it over the first.
        Push this into the 3" column.

        3, Dont rush the vapour.

        4, The column height would definetely have to be taller in a 3" to
        achieve the same strength as in a 2" column.

        These are my pointers for now.

        Hey if things work out post it back to this site and let us know how
        things went.

        Regards
        Surya
      • mavnkaf
        Thanks Surya for your input, I m thinking a column height of about 1.5 meters to start with would be A good starting point . If I have to go higher, no
        Message 3 of 21 , Dec 4, 2006
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          Thanks Surya for your input, I'm thinking a column height of about
          1.5 meters to start with would be A good starting point . If I have
          to go higher, no prob's. Thanks for your other pointers as well.

          Cheers
          Marc



          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "surya9375" <surya9375@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi
          > I dont have a 3" still but for high purity I dont think anything
          > should be much different.
          >
          > Hey guys if I say anything wrong here. Please feel free to comment
          > and correct me.
          >
          > However the differences would be (according to me):-
          >
          > 1, Insulate the column properly. Even the 2" columns need this but
          if
          > its not done I guess the effect would be more seen in a 3" column.
          >
          > 2, Almost all docs state that in wider columns (like the 3" ) you
          > should not use copper scrubbers and go for marbles and the likes.
          but
          > I think the option of copper mesh did not cross them at the time.
          And
          > I think that a copper mesh rolled with the right diameter should
          be
          > the best.
          > I think they were against copper scrubbers cause scrubbers had a
          > particular diameter and if its smaller than the column diameter
          then
          > they wouldnt stack properly and would leave empty spaces as well,
          > leading to channeling. I guess you could buy 2, 1pound copper
          mesh's
          > from Amphoria and take the second one and roll it over the first.
          > Push this into the 3" column.
          >
          > 3, Dont rush the vapour.
          >
          > 4, The column height would definetely have to be taller in a 3" to
          > achieve the same strength as in a 2" column.
          >
          > These are my pointers for now.
          >
          > Hey if things work out post it back to this site and let us know
          how
          > things went.
          >
          > Regards
          > Surya
          >
        • surya9375
          Some time back when I thought I had done quite a bit of reading I posted a few questions and Harry got back to me with the answers and a lot of links proving
          Message 4 of 21 , Dec 4, 2006
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            Some time back when I thought I had done quite a bit of reading I
            posted a few questions and Harry got back to me with the answers and a
            lot of links proving beyond a doubt that I had a LOT more reading to
            do :-)

            One of those links was this

            http://homedistiller.org/static_menu.htm

            In this link under "Theory" you'll find "Reflux Still Design Theory"
            and "Coulmn height" underthat. If you work out the math You'll be a
            better judge to know how high is enough for you. You need to know the
            vapour through put that your boiler would give off.

            on average
            (excerpt from the link above)
            "No packing, purity = 62% , 15cm packing = 82%, 30cm = 88%, 45cm =
            90%, 60cm = 92%, 75cm = 92.8%, 90cm = 93.4%, 105cm = 93.9%. These
            won't be exact, and depend on a number of different factors, but it
            shouldn't be too far off."

            And they where talking about 2" wide coloumn at most. On 2" columns
            150cm is supposed to give you real good purity. I'm talking about 95.5
            and the likes. How much is too much is for you to decide.

            But when you widen the column to 3" the purity will fall. I think 1.5
            meters is a good place to start. I'm not sure but I think you will be
            going higher if you want a high purity cause the funny thing is that
            the first levels of purity are eaisly achived (with little hight
            increase). But from 90% it starts gets tough to push it furthur. You
            would need to put in more height per %.

            I guess you would already be knowing that commercial still that target
            at vodka (pure ethnol, no flavour) usually use columns that are 4" and
            wider. But they dont just use a mesh or something like we do. They use
            actual plates, that has water flowing through them, throughout the
            column that the vapour pushes through and bubbles upward to the next
            plate.

            Regards
            Surya.


            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "mavnkaf" <mavnkaf@...> wrote:
            >
            > Thanks Surya for your input, I'm thinking a column height of about
            > 1.5 meters to start with would be A good starting point . If I have
            > to go higher, no prob's. Thanks for your other pointers as well.
            >
            > Cheers
            > Marc
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "surya9375" <surya9375@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Hi
            > > I dont have a 3" still but for high purity I dont think anything
            > > should be much different.
            > >
            > > Hey guys if I say anything wrong here. Please feel free to comment
            > > and correct me.
            > >
            > > However the differences would be (according to me):-
            > >
            > > 1, Insulate the column properly. Even the 2" columns need this but
            > if
            > > its not done I guess the effect would be more seen in a 3" column.
            > >
            > > 2, Almost all docs state that in wider columns (like the 3" ) you
            > > should not use copper scrubbers and go for marbles and the likes.
            > but
            > > I think the option of copper mesh did not cross them at the time.
            > And
            > > I think that a copper mesh rolled with the right diameter should
            > be
            > > the best.
            > > I think they were against copper scrubbers cause scrubbers had a
            > > particular diameter and if its smaller than the column diameter
            > then
            > > they wouldnt stack properly and would leave empty spaces as well,
            > > leading to channeling. I guess you could buy 2, 1pound copper
            > mesh's
            > > from Amphoria and take the second one and roll it over the first.
            > > Push this into the 3" column.
            > >
            > > 3, Dont rush the vapour.
            > >
            > > 4, The column height would definetely have to be taller in a 3" to
            > > achieve the same strength as in a 2" column.
            > >
            > > These are my pointers for now.
            > >
            > > Hey if things work out post it back to this site and let us know
            > how
            > > things went.
            > >
            > > Regards
            > > Surya
            > >
            >
          • don1lia2joe3
            I run a 4 inch colum still for making alcohol using the FFS plans posted on the alcoholfuel list. It produces 5 gallons per hour of 195 proof alcohol but it is
            Message 5 of 21 , Dec 4, 2006
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              I run a 4 inch colum still for making alcohol using the FFS plans
              posted on the alcoholfuel list. It produces 5 gallons per hour of 195
              proof alcohol but it is all the alchols mixed together (as this is a
              fule alcohol still)
              The alcohol can then be run through a smaller (50mm) seperating
              column to seperate the alcohols at an incredable speed. you have to
              be on your toes though as you can miss the seperation point quickly.

              Donald

              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "mavnkaf" <mavnkaf@...> wrote:
              >
              > After building a 2.5 meter 50 mm LM still with insulation, 1100
              watt
              > stillspirit element in a 20 L hot water Urn. I found the purity
              > went up alot but I did not feel comfortable to increase the liquid
              > off take too much. So the time taken was only about 2 hours
              shorter
              > than normal(10 hours).
              >
              > SO after talking to one of the Mike's I'm thinking about making a 3
              > inch / 76 mm diameter column. Can anyone tell me about their
              > experiences in making and running such a still.
              >
              > Also what type of still design a 76 mm column would it lend self
              > to?
              > LM,VM also the condenser type. I can make a shotgun condencer, and
              > all ready have a 50 mm shotgun condenser that has about 6.3 meters
              > copper 6mm tubing if its helpes? But happy to make one like
              Stevo's.
              >
              > The maths, well I don't much, but I think it goes like
              4.9x2000/750=
              > 1306"/sec @ 3 inch column in a unpacked column which I'm told is,
              >
              > "which is right on the nose for all intents and purposes. It's not
              > the length of the column that matters, but its diameter. All the
              > best,
              > Mike Nixon"
              >
              > So what I'm after is results and if possible a good starting lenght
              > for such diameter. Any takers?
              >
              > Cheers
              > Marc
              >
            • abbababbaccc
              Here are some observation from 3 columns versus 2 stuff: On average you loose ~1% ABV when moving from 2 to 3 if all other parameters are kept equal. In
              Message 6 of 21 , Dec 4, 2006
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                Here are some observation from 3" columns versus 2" stuff:

                On average you loose ~1% ABV when moving from 2" to 3" if all other
                parameters are kept equal. In practise thise means that HETP is
                increased by 50% using very rough estimation. This promotes the use of
                higher column to fix things. For height I'd recommend at least 1.5
                meters if you can afford it.

                Packing, as mentioned mesh rolls are recommended to avoid voids in
                packing.

                Product removal, for neutral alcohol VM and ARC are the best.
                Succesfull 3" columns have been built using both approaches.

                Power, 2kW to the column works well.

                Otherwise things are roughly the same as they are with 2" columns.

                Cheers, Riku
              • surya9375
                Head on Rikku. I would just like to adda comment from a reply I got from Amphora Society when I enquired to purchase the copper mesh. ... If this is true then
                Message 7 of 21 , Dec 5, 2006
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                  Head on Rikku.

                  I would just like to adda comment from a reply I got from Amphora
                  Society when I enquired to purchase the copper mesh.

                  ------------------------------------
                  >One pound of mesh would be sufficient to pack one metre of 2 inch
                  >diameter column, so you would need two pounds to accomplish your aim
                  >of packing 1.5 metre. This would leave about 0.5 pound spare, but it
                  >should be noted that the top reflux condenser needs mesh inside if it
                  >is to function at full efficiency. It would therefore not be wasted.
                  ------------------------------------

                  If this is true then I guess you would need more than 2 pounds to have
                  enough for a 3" column.

                  Regards
                  Surya

                  --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc" <abbababbaccc@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > Here are some observation from 3" columns versus 2" stuff:
                  >
                  > On average you loose ~1% ABV when moving from 2" to 3" if all other
                  > parameters are kept equal. In practise thise means that HETP is
                  > increased by 50% using very rough estimation. This promotes the use of
                  > higher column to fix things. For height I'd recommend at least 1.5
                  > meters if you can afford it.
                  >
                  > Packing, as mentioned mesh rolls are recommended to avoid voids in
                  > packing.
                  >
                  > Product removal, for neutral alcohol VM and ARC are the best.
                  > Succesfull 3" columns have been built using both approaches.
                  >
                  > Power, 2kW to the column works well.
                  >
                  > Otherwise things are roughly the same as they are with 2" columns.
                  >
                  > Cheers, Riku
                  >
                • abbababbaccc
                  Surya, This applies to reflux coil type condensers where you have large opening in the middle of the condenser. Filling this void with mesh slows down the
                  Message 8 of 21 , Dec 5, 2006
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                    Surya,

                    This applies to reflux coil type condensers where you have large
                    opening in the middle of the condenser. Filling this void with mesh
                    slows down the vapor flow and improves condenser efficiency thus
                    preventing vapor from escaping. Although it is not always needed it
                    does not hurt to fill that void just in case.

                    Cheers, Riku

                    --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "surya9375" <surya9375@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Head on Rikku.
                    >
                    > I would just like to adda comment from a reply I got from Amphora
                    > Society when I enquired to purchase the copper mesh.
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------
                    > >One pound of mesh would be sufficient to pack one metre of 2 inch
                    > >diameter column, so you would need two pounds to accomplish your
                    aim
                    > >of packing 1.5 metre. This would leave about 0.5 pound spare,
                    but it
                    > >should be noted that the top reflux condenser needs mesh inside
                    if it
                    > >is to function at full efficiency. It would therefore not be
                    wasted.
                    > ------------------------------------
                    >
                    > If this is true then I guess you would need more than 2 pounds to
                    have
                    > enough for a 3" column.
                    >
                    > Regards
                    > Surya
                    >
                    >
                  • mavnkaf
                    Thanks guys again for the very good info, this is the sort of information I could not find in the archive. Donald, your post was interesting but I m not going
                    Message 9 of 21 , Dec 5, 2006
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                      Thanks guys again for the very good info, this is the sort of
                      information I could not find in the archive.

                      Donald, your post was interesting but I'm not going down that road,
                      the off take speed you mention is very fast! Thanks for your
                      thoughts.

                      Surya and Riku, both of you mention a reduction of purity, that part
                      I seemed to have missed in my reading, can some one point towards
                      some thing I can read about this issue? I wrong most of the time
                      but I don't think I seen it at home distiller?

                      To Riku, as I have mentioned, I like the ARC setup but where can I
                      find more detailed info that will match a 3" column to a 3 " set up?
                      I'm abit confused about the inside sencer tube compared to outside
                      one. I have got admit that I have not read/found all the reading
                      stuff relating to this subject, sorry.

                      As far the condenser goes, I already have a shotgun condenser that
                      has about 6 meters of 6 mm copper tube in it. Copper packing, I
                      think about 4-5 pounds will do it?

                      Cheers Marc

                      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc" <abbababbaccc@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Surya,
                      >
                      > This applies to reflux coil type condensers where you have large
                      > opening in the middle of the condenser. Filling this void with
                      mesh
                      > slows down the vapor flow and improves condenser efficiency thus
                      > preventing vapor from escaping. Although it is not always needed
                      it
                      > does not hurt to fill that void just in case.
                      >
                      > Cheers, Riku
                      >
                      > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "surya9375" <surya9375@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Head on Rikku.
                      > >
                      > > I would just like to adda comment from a reply I got from Amphora
                      > > Society when I enquired to purchase the copper mesh.
                      > >
                      > > ------------------------------------
                      > > >One pound of mesh would be sufficient to pack one metre of 2
                      inch
                      > > >diameter column, so you would need two pounds to accomplish
                      your
                      > aim
                      > > >of packing 1.5 metre. This would leave about 0.5 pound spare,
                      > but it
                      > > >should be noted that the top reflux condenser needs mesh inside
                      > if it
                      > > >is to function at full efficiency. It would therefore not be
                      > wasted.
                      > > ------------------------------------
                      > >
                      > > If this is true then I guess you would need more than 2 pounds
                      to
                      > have
                      > > enough for a 3" column.
                      > >
                      > > Regards
                      > > Surya
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                    • abbababbaccc
                      Reduced quality using larger columns have been shown in practise. I don t know whether anyone have actually written about it. My writings about ARC can be
                      Message 10 of 21 , Dec 5, 2006
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                        Reduced quality using larger columns have been shown in practise. I
                        don't know whether anyone have actually written about it.

                        My writings about ARC can be found at
                        http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/Listings2.htm#Books%
                        20Listings - Simple low cost stills

                        The internal sensor pipe has several advantages and is thus
                        recommended. You can use plans for smaller diameter column and make
                        measures a bit larger in proportion. Just make sure you won't
                        encounter flooding, i.e. calculate things according to the power you
                        plan on using.

                        Cheers, Riku

                        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "mavnkaf" <mavnkaf@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > Surya and Riku, both of you mention a reduction of purity, that
                        part
                        > I seemed to have missed in my reading, can some one point towards
                        > some thing I can read about this issue? I wrong most of the time
                        > but I don't think I seen it at home distiller?
                        >
                        > To Riku, as I have mentioned, I like the ARC setup but where can I
                        > find more detailed info that will match a 3" column to a 3 " set
                        up?
                        > I'm abit confused about the inside sencer tube compared to outside
                        > one. I have got admit that I have not read/found all the reading
                        > stuff relating to this subject, sorry.
                        >
                        >> > >
                        > >
                        >
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